Plect-egg-ish?: An anecdote for why you may also need to create your own label
At a glimpse: Fortunately, I have never had any allergy or intolerance to any food group. Unfortunately, I had imprisoned myself by prohibiting just tasting so many delicious foods... so, I created my own label “Plect-egg-ish”, combing plants, insects, egg, and fish.
In my previous blog post, you read about my inner battle to achieve moderation in the midst of all my passions and commitments. Perfectly living out the vegan label so that my diet was in line with my sustainability and health values exemplifies one of these inner battles. You see, turning vegan was not difficult. In fact, as long as I wasn’t traveling outside of the U.S., it was relatively easy because of all my reasons and passions. The difficult part of it all was relaxing and taking a step back from the label I seem to have super-glued all over me. I became so obsessed with making sure there wasn’t a touch of animal product on my food that if I discovered after the fact that I had eaten, for example, egg in my veggie burger that the waiter had mistaken for vegan, not only would my meal be ruined, but also my entire day was marked.
My extremism went beyond not eating animal products, it also included eating only whole grained, non-processed foods. I'd feel gross after eating flour burritos or regular pasta. If these were the only vegan options, I’d have the urge to workout as a form of detoxing the “crappy foods” outside of my system. Fortunately, I have never had any allergy or intolerance to any food group. Unfortunately, I had imprisoned myself by prohibiting just tasting so many delicious foods. After doing a mental cost-benefit analysis, I realized the stress I brought upon myself trying to be vegan 100% of the time, including traveling to foreign places and eating with my Brazilian family (who barely understood the definition of vegetarianism, much less vegan), just wasn’t worth my “trying to save the world” and “being the healthiest version of myself possible”. Recently, I’ve made strides in finding a balance. I didn’t beat myself up a few weeks ago in Italy when I tried my first cannoli, even after a plate of non-whole wheat pasta. :)
Here in Miami I eat a plant-based diet with my ento cricket-flour made goodies. Occasionally, I’ll eat egg if it’s organic and free-range, and I’ll eat fish when I travel when there are few vegan, filling options as in not just an over-priced house salad made with lettuce and 3 grape tomatoes... I got tired of the feeling of defeat I’d get explaining to people that I’m vegan, but with some exceptions. You see, I was obsessed with the label for so long, that deviating from it to this day creates a wary feeling. I know, it sounds ridiculous to me too. So, to avoid this feeling, I created my own label “Plect-egg-ish”, combing plants, insects, egg, and fish.
If you’re strictly following any diet, whether it’s vegan, paleo, guten-free, you’re feeling healthy, and can honestly say that you’re satisfied, then keep doing what you’re doing. But, if you’re like me and you had a realization of the negative externalities affiliated with strict diets, then maybe its time for a meditative evaluation on the way you eat.